A Robins Return


The Robin. A bird who somehow found its way into our social consciousness as one of nature’s most prolific representations of Christmas. Yes, he or she is a bird that sticks around throughout the colder seasons. I guess the Victorians, with their reinvention of Christmas during, what were the ending years of the ‘little Ice Age’ saw the robin, bobbing around in the snow during most chilling, December holidays and just decided to stick it on the front of the new and trendy Christmas Card concept. And there it was born as a mascot of Yuletide proportions. Well if you have a garden at home, you might just be lucky enough to have a little, winter resident, who braves it out in all weathers. Very unlike those ‘other’ birds who just up wings and bugger off for the warmer climates in the south, for the winter. I did actually notice the largest flock of swifts flying above me last week when we had the easterly winds. For some reason or another, the whole lot of them were firmly flying east into the chilling wind. Odd I thought at the time ‘Don’t they always fly south’, but I guess there was some reason or another for it meteorologically speaking. The flock was huge, consisting of thousands upon thousands of individual birds. They took forever to fly over. It made me reminisce back to the Ravens of Kathmandu and their nightly amassing of the skies, darkening them with black wing and shrill cry. Now back on track to our local, little winter resident. Today I saw his (or her) return to our terrace. It happens each year at about this time, they just reappear, as if from nowhere. I’m not actually talking about a singleton, but a mated pair of love birds. Both with plump red blooms with the sweetest little chirps, when they can be bothered. They are not the noisiest of bird, unlike our local ravens and the thrushes we entertain in the warmer months. Well they’re back now until the spring time when, if we’re lucky enough, they might nest and have chicks, like in previous years. Then they just disappear for the summer, vanishing as instantly as they had appeared. Talking of little chicks, Aaliyah came home from preschool early today as she was feeling out of sorts. We received a call and Sindy drove down early to pick her up. She sat down beside the television and was unconscious within minutes. No temperature, but she’s now up in her bed sleeping soundly along with her brothers.

Did I say that I am making home made sweets this week (just fruit and sugar) to give freely to the children at the girls school Christmas Fayre. Candied fruit done, pastille done, just chocolate truffles to make after dipping the orangettes in dark chocolate. All done with the hope of selling a jar or two of Dadda’s Jams on Saturday afternoon. I imagine all the thought and preparation won’t be worth it, financially, but I don’t really care as I’m feeling that Christmas vibe at this point and giving without expecting recompense, is just making me feel like I’m part of humanity and that life is not only about the take.

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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